5160 is working fine for me

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by MartinBear, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. MartinBear



    I'm starting this thread to get an idea success stories people are having. We tend in forums like these only to hear the horror stories.

    For the record, my update to 5160 went without a hitch, including the automatic launch of the updater for Parallels Tools after my first boot of WinXP running under 5160.

    "Secrets of my success" seem to be really, really basic.

    1. I don't run Bootcamp. That seems to avoid a lot of problems right there.

    2. I ShutDown my VM using the Windows "Start" --> Turn off Computer option whenever I'm not using it. I use the Parallels "Suspend" as little as possible. (It's not like continually restarting the VM is going to wear out the power supply, after all).

    3. Before I Sleep my Mac, I shutdown WinXP or Suspend Parallels Desktop. Why cause needless surprises for the poor little VM?

    4. Duh ... I keep WinXP fully updated and patched with Microsoft Auto Update.

    5. Finally, I never, never, never install an update to Parallels without first a) Shutting down the WinXP VM, and b) making a backup copy of the complete VM fileset. Of the two, I think 5a is critical. Why would anyone update a VM engine while the VM it supports is running, even if suspended? Seems like a crazy risk to me.

    The result of this mundane set of precautions is that I haven't had any crashes, panics, or other oddities over the last four or five official releases.

    I think Parallels Desktop is a fine product. It's not perfect, just fine. Used carefully it should work well. Used recklessly it will probably disappoint you -- but then again I suspect your host OS woulde also be a nightmare of mismanagement, too.

    FWIW, on my MacBookPro with no USB devices connected and no Windows apps running, Activity Monitor on MacOSX shows Parallels consuming about "25%", but since there are two CPUs we need to divide by two to get a true figure of 12.5%. Not at all bad.

    Best regards,
    The Hague, Netherlands
  2. skeedatl

    skeedatl Bit Poster

    With my MacBook Pro C2D with 4GB of Ram (3GB usable), PDT 3.0 always ran my Vista Ultimate Boot Camp partition like a champ. I avoid the beta builds and 5160 fixed the only problem I had which was the memory allocation error if I tried to set more than 1GB of RAM for the Vista VM. Now I can run whatever I want without any errors.

    My Mac Pros are a different story. While I had little trouble with the previous non-beta release aside from the memory allocation errors, 5160 on my Mac Pros doesn't work when I have more than 1 video display adapter installed. At my office we do a lot of CAD work and use 3-6 monitors. In testing we pulled out the extra video cards out leaving only 1 and 5160 runs awesome on the Mac Pro's (again, with Vista Ultimate).

    I do hope though that the Parallels Team figures out what "broke" in 5160 that killed the ability to run on a Mac with more than 1 video card installed.
  3. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Did you give Parallels a trouble ticket for the video card issue?
  4. skeedatl

    skeedatl Bit Poster

  5. jazzi


    Same for me, so far. Seems 5160 is the most stable release, yet.
  6. davez


    Works great for me. Installed without a problems and it seems to be very solid.
  7. Uezi


    For me, 5160 is also one of the best releases of PD. CPU usage is good and it looks like they're using the freed cycles to boost the performance.
    Guild Wars Fractions still runs horribly slow, but I think the frame rate doubled (and now is nearly playable)...

    (I'm using PD since it's initial release and I'm using it like Martin Bear described. Additionally, add "If a release works for you, don't update it unless you really need to.")
  8. Purplish

    Purplish Kilo Poster

    Works for me.
  9. mprussell


    Well, I probably wasn't using Parallels long enough to tell if it's much different now. I am though very impressed with it so far.

    I upgraded yesterday and since then I've had a couple of problems. I have two VMs running on my nearly new Mac Pro with 5Gb RAM, a Vista installation and Debian Linux.

    The first problem seems to have sorted itself out. After the upgrade the Linux VM had real problems starting. Running Parallels seemed not pause at the configuration screen and wood attempt to boot Linux without my asking. It also added a series of "1"s to the name of the VM! Not sure why. It did the same on my Vista VM too though less so. The Linux VM was suddenly called "Debian Linux 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1". A hard reboot of the Mac Pro (a rarity for me and a reluctance) appears to have sorted these issues out.

    The other one continues and seems to affect the Vista VM only. Four or so times now I've left the VM running and the mac has switched the monitor off as per the Power Saving settings. I'll come back and Vista will be displaying the login box. I think it must be rebooting itself after a BSOD. I get messages about a bad boot.

    Now, I don't really know much about Windows as I've been Mac only for years now. Usually though, if the Vista VM crashes or is just turned off it will display a boot option screen on restarting. Obviously if I'm seeing the login screen it's bypassing that. Maybe it's behaving like the Mac 'reboot after power failure' option? If so maybe the screen-off event in the host is triggering a virtual power failure.

    That said, I've tested sleeping the mac with the VM running Vista and Linux and both restore ok on waking up. This reboot problem only happens when the screen has switched off (and possibly when the disks have spun down), not when the Mac is sleeping. Sometimes, but not every time, returning to wake the screen up will see the Vista VM 'paused' and a Parallels message asking if I want to un-pause it. When this has happened I myself haven't paused the VM.

    All else seems to be ok. Though the Vista reboot issue is a big problem.

    I realise this is off-topic but I'm actually staggered how much quicker Firefox renders pages on Windows: Noticably faster than Safari or Firefox on the Mac. Mind you the Vista windowing is horrendous in comparison. Windows judder round the screen if you drag them. This might be Parallels video rendering issues though. I'd love to see full video/3D support soon so I can see just how far MS have gone with Aero. On the whole I'm reminded how plasticy Windows is. After all these years it still feels 'cheap' and I'm reminded what a pleasure using the Mac interface is in comparison.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2007
  10. Eru Ithildur

    Eru Ithildur

    Unless the power savings are a company policy, try turning them off and seeing what happens with the VISTA VM. Also, see what happens if you manually put the computer to sleep and turn it back on with the VISTA VM running.
  11. Jon Richardson

    Jon Richardson

    Excellent release for me too (MacBook Pro).

    It has even resolved the issue I (and others) had where we were unable to compact expanding hdds due previous use of snapshots or undo drives.

    This release has cleared all that up beautifully, and I have compacted a really very bloated hdd.

    Performance excellent.

    I completely agree with MartinBear in terms of the procedures he follows to keep things stable. I do exactly the same and have never had a problem with any Parallels release.
  12. srl


    I will agree as well. I have used 3.0 through a couple of beta periods and it has been very solid on WinXP, Solarisx86, and Linux, pretty heavy use and development.
  13. mprussell


    The machine is my own so the Power Saving policy is my own. I did though set OS X to power the screen and itself down 'never' and the 'put disks to sleep where possible' option is off anyway. And...

    It did it again. I was away for about 2 hours.

    I get this message in Windows: Problem Event Name: BlueScreen.

    I'm off to start me a new thread as this is happening every time now.
  14. fbronner


    Works great for me too, I've actually spent most of my week running it doing a VPN connection to another computer at the office and it worked perfectly. Now I hope to do some development and see how fast it goes...
  15. ericpena


    Works great for my MBP with Vista VM now after removing Boot Camp 1.4 where PD is having problems.
  16. musk


    The upgrade to 5160 went very smoothly for me. The only glitch was with an Ubuntu VM, which was almost certainly caused by me, as the VM was paused rather than stopped when I upgraded Parallels. The paused VM started on demand but almost immediately stopped responding. Resetting the VM resulted in another lockup while it was booting. One more reset and the VM booted properly. I reinstalled Parallels tools and it's been running very smoothly since, including no trouble with sleeping the Macbook Pro host.

    My WinXP Pro VM, which I'd remembered to shutdown before upgrade, recognized the new version and started the Parallels Tools install on it's own. It's been working flawlessly.

    I don't take nearly the precautions that MartinBear describes. I leave VMs running and sleep my MacBook Pro many times a day. That's the nature of a notebook computer and Parallels functionality would be severely limited for me if it could not tolerate this. I also use the suspend feature frequently. Often these are automated suspends induced by Parallels when I log out or restart the Mac. Parallels tolerates all this very well in my experience and it's a good example of how Parallels doesn't get in the way of me working.

    I do run Boot Camp, but it is a separate install, unused by Parallels.

    As a heavy user of Expose, I'm very pleased with the improvements to Coherence in this release. My sole gripe with Parallels at all revolves around USB flakiness. Hopefully that will be the next major item addressed.
  17. heafnerj


    Add me to the list of satisfied 5160 users. Full screen transitions are now smooth and flicker free on my MBP with 2GB of RAM. I'm happy with it!
  18. jesuitx


    I have never had a problem with PD until 5160. After updating, my network adapter in XP is "limited or no connectivity" no matter what I try.

    I'm using Shared Networking and I have a pretty simple network set up, just a wireless network with DHCP.

    Anybody else having this problem?
  19. MarkHolbrook


    I too follow almost the exact same guide lines as the thread starter except that I do make heavy use of suspend/resume and have had no problems from that.
  20. NewMac


    Just upgraded to ver 5160 as per included instructions, booted up Parallels which automatically installed the new version of tools when XP started. No problems whatsoever, i have a Canon digital SLR connected, bluetooth microphone, usb camera and have XP running on a external USB 320 gb drive. All I can say is "WELL DONE GUYS"

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